“Simply put, mindfulness is moment-to-moment non-judgemental awareness.
It is cultivated by purposefully paying attention to things we ordinarily never give a moment’s thought to. It is a systematic approach to developing new kinds of agency, control, and wisdom in our lives, based on our inner capacity for paying attention and on the awareness, insight, and compassion that naturally arise from paying attention in specific ways”. – Jon Kabat-Zinn, Full Catastrophe Living
The first western Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Training (MBSR) was founded in 1979 by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Initially MBSR was developed to treat mostly Chronicall illnessess, Depression, Addictions & Stress with great success.
Since then Mindfulness has not only been used for the above, but also to improve communication, (self) compassion, relationships, parenting & teamwork and is used in many different areas of health care and the educational system.
We have all arrived home from work, or at the supermarket or a friends house, not really realizing how we got there. Many meals we ate not remembering the actual flavors and smells. And how many times did we overreacted to a comment somebody made without actually knowing why.
This is our automatic pilot in full mode. Not always a bad thing as this autopilot allows us to live our lives without overthinking each step we take. The autopilot can get in your way when you stop responding to situations. Instead you are only reacting without thinking what is actually best in that particular situation.
In those reactive states, Mindfulness can show you the alternatives by creating space between what happended and your response. In this space you become aware of your body sensations, thoughts & emotions, and from there you can choose a response.
Mindfulness is a skill and can be trained & strengthned by practicing meditation and intergration in daily life.
What can Mindfulness add to my life:
- Better awareness of the present moment
- Increased awareness and insight into your own thought patterns, reactions, actions, emotions and moods (and a choice to deal with it differently)
- The ability to take some distance from struggles you have
- Deal with stressful events or moments when things do not go as you’d like
- Concentrate (more focus and less distracted)
- Understanding your boundaries better